Council Tax non HMCTS Liability order hearings costs and data

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Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

In regards to Council Tax liability order hearings that occur weekly in every magistrates court in the country. Please confirm the following;

a) What paperwork has to be put into the Magistrates Court before it issues/authorises the issue of a summons?

b) Who considers these bulk applications and other than a name on a list; what other information do the councils provide to the courts?

c) What is the HMCTS cost for each summons issued/authorised by the magistrates court?

d) Where are the records of summons cost payments kept?

e) Do the Local authority provide the court with proof of service of the summons?

f) how many people were jailed in the UK in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as civil prisoners for non payment of council tax?

g) Does the 1980 magistrates court act apply to ANY Liability order or committal hearings for council tax? If not all of it - then which sections and provisions?

h) Are either HMCTS [the courts] or the Councils [Local Authorities] obliged in law or equity to set out the legal route of appeal for a liability order once it is issued?

i) are these procedures civil administrative hearings conducted in a criminal venue, hired from HMCTS by the local authorities, where bulk orders are made with no legal consideration given to either the summons or the facts of any hearings convened under an undisclosed civil jurisdiction used to commit people [legal & natural] to prison for non payment of a statutory obligation to pay a local tax? [a simple Yes or No will suffice.]

j] if HMCTS receive £3 per order made - when hundreds of thousands of LO's are made each week - does it still consider itself impartial to proceedings as it constitutionally should be?

Yours faithfully,

Danny Bamping

Rebecca Saunders left an annotation ()

Re, item j 'HMCTS receive £3 per order made'

I believe it is standard practice for HMCTS to take payment from local authorities by credit card for each person summonsed. That fee is non-refundable so if the debt is settled rendering it unnecessary to apply for a liability order then HMCTS pockets the fee as a bonus.

Taking payment for each person summonsed appears not to comply with the Magistrates’ Courts Fees (Amendment) Order 2014 [the fee is payable in respect of each defendant against whom the liability order is sought]

4 Liability Orders
4.1 Proceedings under the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 or the Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement)
(Local Lists) Regulations 1989 on an application for a liability order.

Note: Fee 4.1 is payable in respect of each defendant against whom the liability order is sought.

Civil & Family Business Support,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Bamping,
Please find attached a response to your email of 11th January 2017.
Yours Sincerely
HMCTS Civil and Family Team

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